Some fundamental fraud awareness training can help in your everyday life: the next time someone’s talking about your information, watch their face.
We’ve looked at ways to combat electronic criminals, and while it’s true that cyber security is important, it’s also wise to stay alert when dealing with living, breathing people. There are many everyday situations in which your most personal information might be in the hands of a stranger, whether you’re making a purchase, confronting a possibly fraudulent employee or performing a bank transaction. In her book “Body Language Confidential,” author Traci Brown identifies many basic things you can do to check if someone is trying to scam you right in front of your face.
Let’s start with the face. One key indicator is when a person rubs or scratches their face after being asked a question. This might seem like a fairly obvious giveaway, but you’ll be surprised how often you’ll see this little move in action. According to Brown, this is a physical reaction to lying, which raises the potential scammer’s blood pressure.
“When blood pressure increases, tiny facial capillaries dilate, causing [the liar] to itch,” Brown says. “When you see this, ask a few more probing questions to see if they frequently touch their face.” If they do, your antenna should go up alerting you to a possibly untrustworthy person.
Another sign is the covering of the mouth, which Brown says comes from a repressed desire to speak out. Fidgety hand gestures in general, especially around the face, are worth noting.
It’s possible that an expert bluffer will know how to control this. But fraud awareness training tips like this can come in handy in unexpected ways – and you can see it in our media all the time. In the infamous Lance Armstrong interview with Oprah, for example, you can observe the cyclist early in the interview practically having to clasp his hands together to keep from touching his face. And just think how entertaining this bit of information will be as we watch politicians.
Of course, fraud awareness training is much bigger than just a few tics and hand movements. This is just a taste of things worth keeping in mind when trying to determine if a person is trustworthy.
An expert in fraud awareness training can teach you other tricks that are just as applicable. Becoming an aware observer of humanity can be a vital tool both online and in person.
John Sileo is a fraud prevention expert and keynote speaker on fraud detection, data security and identity theft. His clients have included the Department of Defense, Pfizer, and Homeland Security. See his recent media appearances on 60 Minutes, Anderson Cooper and Fox Business.